BOSTON It was not until Halloween last year that the Red Sox began the process of interviewing managerial candidates, when they brought in then-Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin. That was more than a month after Terry Francona was fired. Over the next 12 days, the Sox also brought in Dale Sveum, Sandy Alomar, Torey Lovullo, and Gene Lamont. But, it wasnt until Dec. 1 when they named Bobby Valentine as the 45th manager in team history.
Stressing that they did not want the process to take as long this year as it did last, the Sox on Friday brought in their first candidate to replace Valentine, who was fired Oct. 4, when they interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach.
The process is expected to continue the next few days when the Sox meet with Brad Ausmus. Neither Wallach nor Ausmus has experience managing at the major league level.
Wallach, who turned 55 in September, played parts of 17 seasons with the Expos, Dodgers, and Angels, before retiring after the 1996 season. He began coaching in the Dodgers organization the next season, and managed their Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes in 2009 and 2010, before taking the Dodgers third base job in 2011. He also managed at the Single-A level in the Dodgers organization. Each of his three sons has been drafted by the Dodgers.
Ausmus, 43, played 18 seasons for the Astros, Padres, Tigers, and Dodgers before retiring after the 2010 season. He is currently a special assistant to Padres general manager Josh Byrnes, a position he has held since retiring. He does not have experience coaching or managing within an organization, but managed Team Israel in its unsuccessful bid to qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Ausmus has New England roots -- he grew up in Connecticut, attended Dartmouth, and owns a house on Cape Cod.
Wallach and Ausmus fit the mold of Cubs manager Dale Sveum, White Sox manager Robin Ventura, and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who were all hired last season despite having no previous major league managerial experience.
It is believed no candidates within the Red Sox organization will be interviewed for the job. According to a source, Arnie Beyeler, who led Triple-A Pawtucket to the International League title this season, will not be interviewed, but could be a candidate for the coaching staff.
John Farrell, Blue Jays manager and former Sox pitching coach, is still presumed to be the Sox top choice for the job. On Friday morning, he told MLB Radio Network he had not been told if the Sox had contacted the Jays requesting permission to speak to him. However, he has not publicly said he is not interested in the Sox job. Because he has one year remaining on his contract with Toronto, compensation would be expected for him to take the Sox job. Last year, when the Sox asked to speak with Farrell, they were told the compensation would have to be Clay Buchholz, which the Sox rejected.
If and when the Sox get permission to talk to Farrell and what the compensation would be remains to be seen.
Additionally, by Major League Baseball rules, the Sox must interview at least one minority candidate. Those candidates could include Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, who also interviewed for the Astros job last month that went to Bo Porter. Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale, who was fired in December from his bench coach position with the Sox and was not interviewed for the managers job, would be a strong, yet unlikely, candidate, given his departure last year.
As part of their last two managerial searches last year, and in 2003 when Francona was hired to replace the fired Grady Little the Sox made the candidates available to the media. As of Friday, that will not be the case this time around.